Three Teams Split $20,000 In Startup And Research Funds At DCx

Washington, D.C. — The Bowser Administration and Office of the Chief Technology Officer announced the winners of DCx, a public innovation competition that challenged the tech community to test inventive ideas to confront two of the toughest problems cities face today: public safety and health.

“DCx, and the previous GigabitDCx, have been a successful introduction to innovation challenges for OCTO and our partners, and we look forward to growing this program, reaching more innovators in DC, and truly working with our tech community to solve real challenges in the District,” said Chief Technology Officer Lindsey Parker. “We are thrilled to have been able to partner with US Ignite to not only offer an innovation award, but also the opportunity to work with so many diverse, talented entrepreneurs on a common goal for the betterment of the District.” 

Teams and judges joined Parker, Assistant City Administrator Jay Melder, Keisha Mims of East of the River Services, and tech industry leaders Shrupti Shah of Delloite and George Johnston of Tech City Ventures at the WeDC Futures Forum on Oct. 2 at the Eaton Hotel for “Rising to the Challenge: Civic Innovation Panel and DCx Demonstration,” where, after an engaging conversation about the need and importance of civic innovation, the DCx teams demonstrated their solutions to the audience. 

The winners, in order of award:

  1. Daniel Bernstein and Brendan Freehart of Arlington, VA, was awarded $10,000 for Safe Lane, a distributed monitoring system that leverages deep learning and existing traffic camera feeds to provide bike lane enforcement officers with real-time notifications of bike lane obstructions as well as historical analysis to arm District public safety agencies with the information they need to prioritize resourcing and staffing to reduce traffic fatalities and accidents on the road.
  2. Haven of Washington, D.C., was awarded $7,000 for the “Self-Action For Everyone (S.A.F.E)” card which would use 5G to empower all DC residents to access emergency care with a single button. S.A.F.E. is an IoT card that fits in a purse or wallet and allows the owner to trigger emergency care with a single button press. S.A.F.E. offers 3 modes: 1. trigger an emergency request for an ambulance, 2. notify emergency contacts with real-time updates, and 3. request care guidance recommendations on your phone.
  3. ENGR Dynamics, of Silver Spring, MD, was awarded $3,000 Public Safety Sensor Fusion (PS2F), which increases first responder safety and effectiveness via automated video analytics and sensor fusion. PS2F’s mission is to create better situational awareness, delivered through mobile devices, allowing a real-time assessment of vehicular and personnel requirements; this could both shorten response times and improve utilization of reserve vehicles. With 5G, PS2F has the potential to utilize precise indoor positioning to track personnel on-scene and gigabit networking to stream sensor data to mobile devices.

Also announced at the event was, an online platform that will serve as a centralized hub for the District’s tech ecosystem, including providing information and resources to help local innovators turn ideas into real solutions through public challenges. If you are interested in helping shape and contribute to, sign-up online or reach out to OCTO at

About DCx

Launched June 17, 2019, DCx is the second public innovation challenge the Bowser Administration has run in partnership with US Ignite and the Smart Gigabit Communities program and the National Science Foundation.

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